Best of our Podcast Network Part 3
About the Guest
- View All the Podcasts FamilyLife Offers
- Listen to Ron Deal's podcast episode Undone: Making Peace With the Life You Have
- Listen to Shaunti Feldhahn and Brian Goins: Undone: "Making Peace With the Life You Have
- Find resources from this podcast at shop.familylife.com.
- Find more content and resources on the FamilyLife's app!
- Help others find FamilyLife. Leave a review on Apple Podcast or Spotify.
Ready to dip into more from the FamilyLife podcast network? Don’t miss all-star samples touching on topics from same-sex attraction to nagging in marriage.
Shelby: Hey, this is Shelby Abbott. Before we get started, if you gave to FamilyLife last month, I just wanted to say, “Thank you so much.” The gifts are still coming in, and we don’t have final numbers yet; but I sincerely hope that you know we couldn’t do this without you. I’m so grateful for your partnership with us at FamilyLife Today. And if you couldn’t give, that’s fine. We’re so glad to have you listening.
Alright, now to today’s show.
Shaunti: As I’ve been doing this research with the guys, nagging is essentially one of the most explicit signals of: “I don’t trust you,”—it’s—“I’ve asked you to do something; and oh, by the way, I’ve asked you to do something again and again.”
Shaunti: It’s essentially this: “I’m not trusting you to do it or to care about it enough that you will get to it when you can.”
Ann: Welcome to FamilyLife Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I’m Ann Wilson.
Dave: And I’m Dave Wilson, and you can find us at FamilyLifeToday.com or on our FamilyLife app.
Ann: This is FamilyLife Today!
Do you have a New Year’s resolution this year?—2023?
Dave: Not yet!
Ann: I thought you were going to say you’re going to listen to all of the FamilyLife podcasts—
Dave: That’s what I’m going to do!
Ann: —on our network.
Dave: I’m going to listen to the FamilyLife Podcast Network. And we have three of them sitting in the studio.
Ann: They’re like superheroes.
Dave: We have been assembled. [Laughter] It’s The Avengers sitting right here. We’ve got—
Brian: We’ve got Ant Man over here: Shelby. [Laughter]
Dave: Yes, right! Shelby’s Ant Man! What’s Ron?
Ann: He’s Doctor Strange! Look at him!
Dave: Doctor Strange.
Ann: He looks just like him!
Brian: Doctor Strange.
Shelby: See, you’re magical. That’s what it means.
Brian: You need to/you need to kind of dye the goatee.
Ron: Rub my goatee a little bit.
Ann: Yes, I’ll get you a blade.
Brian: You need to dye the goatee a little bit.
Dave: What’s Brian?
Ann: He’s Iron Man.
Dave: Iron Man?
Brian: Oh, wow.
Dave: I want to be Iron Man. [Laughter] Okay, Brian’s Iron Man.
Ann: No, you’re Captain America.
Brian: I’m hiding behind a mask.
Dave: Ann is—
Brian: Captain Marvel or Black Widow?
Shelby: Oh, Captain Marvel.
Ann: Captain Marvel!
Shelby: Captain Marvel’s more powerful.
Ann: She’s like more powerful than everybody!
Shelby: Yes! She’s more powerful, yes.
Brian: I don’t even know why they have the other superheroes; she can just destroy everything.
Ann: I thought the same thing!
Brian: Yes. [Laughter]
Shelby: You can destroy us all, Ann.
Dave: Our entire production team is in there, like, “Are they thinking this is the intro to the show?” [Laughter] Yes! Today, it’s the intro to the show!
Ann: Is this any good?
Ron: It’s a new day on FamilyLife Today.
Dave: We’ve got Real Life Loading…™:Shelby Abbott’s in the studio. We’ve got Ron Deal with FamilyLife Blended®, and we’ve got Brian Goins with Married with Benefits™. These are the FamilyLife podcast shows that a lot of our audience doesn’t know. Yes, if you talk about a New Year’s resolution—if you’ve never heard these—you’re going to hear little clips today; and I hope you say, “In 2023, I’m going to start listening to these.” And not just that—share them!—there’s somebody you know that these would be beneficial to.
We’re going to have a little clip; who are we starting with today?—Shelby?
Shelby: I think it’s me.
Dave: So what are we going to listen to?
Shelby: I had a conversation with Rachel Gilson, who is a phenomenal—
Dave: We’ve had her on—
Shelby: —yes, she’s been a guest on FamilyLife Today before.
She’s a phenomenal writer and speaker; she wrote a book called Born Again This Way, which is kind of the best title for a book, ever. We talked about stuff that is highly applicable to a younger audience, especially now, when we’re talking about identity and sexuality. The conversation was great; the clip will be great as well.
[Previous Real Life Loading... Podcast]
Shelby: Somewhat anxious—always authentic—this is Real Life Loading... I’m your host, Shelby Abbott. Our desire with this podcast is to help guide you toward the life-changing power of Jesus for relationships in a constantly-shifting culture.
Today’s guest is Rachel Gilson. Back in 2017, she wrote an article in Christianity Today that went viral. In that article, she shares her story about realizing, as a teenager, that she was attracted to women. She pursued that attraction until, through an odd set of circumstances, she became a Christian at Yale University.
I loved talking with Rachel, and I think you’ll learn a lot through our conversation; so let’s hop into it!
Shelby: So what can you say to people who are involved?—like maybe, a 23-year-old, who’s just out of college; they’re trying to get involved in a church. They realize that one of their friends is same-sex attracted. How do we help that person engage with their friend?
Rachel: I would say taking a posture of asking honoring questions and listening really well. Sometimes, I have brothers and sisters/same-sex attracted brothers and sisters, who have said, “Well, they’ll bring it up.” And their straight friends are really good at receiving it in the first conversation; they’re like, “Oh, yes.” And they just never bring it up again. I think [it’s] because they’re afraid of hurting their friend.
Rachel: And so they’re like, “Well, if I just say nothing, then certainly, I won’t hurt them!” [Laughter]
Shelby: Right; yes.
Rachel: That’s hard; because you’re like, “Well, I don’t want to never talk about it again! It’s just weird; because I don’t want it to be the only thing I talk about, but it is a part of my life.”
Rachel: So if I’ve invited you in, then I want to be able to talk about it sometimes, you know?
Rachel: We just need to know where our friend is. Maybe she is in a position where, for whatever reason, her experience of same-sex attraction is the main source of temptation and spiritual difficulty in her life. That might be true, and she really needs support if that is true. But it might be true that that’s a part of her experience; but actually, her main source of spiritual temptation and struggle is that she works for someone, who is deeply unkind, who is treating her poorly because she’s a Christian—or whatever—do you know what I mean?
Rachel: I can think of a million examples. I think just being careful to not assume that the person, who’s same-sex attracted, that that’s like the source of all their pain. We shouldn’t make assumptions about each other; we should just ask good questions. The way churches can foster these types of scenarios or ministries is just by having the conversation every once in a while.
Ron: I love that, Shelby. I think it’s so easy to get locked in fear about something going on in somebody’s life that we care about. We’re sort of like: “Man! I don’t want to bring that up,” “Maybe I should bring that up.” Bringing it up once, and then never bringing it up again, is sort of backtracking all the time, never really sure what to do.
And then, the other takeaway for me was making assumptions. That’s just so easy to do! Sometimes, what’s a big deal to us may not be a big deal to them; and so we’re making all these assumptions about how they’re dealing with that element in their life. One of the things I’ve learned to do with somebody is just say, “You know, I’d like to revisit this, every now and then; but I don’t want to bug you about it. You tell me: ‘Would it be okay if we talked about it from time to time?’”
I let them define the parameters around when, where, and how we talk about that thing—whatever that thing is—and now, all of a sudden, I feel permission and freedom; and they feel heard. Now, I know the path forward; and we don’t have to avoid it.
Brian: Yes; the word that hit my head was “condescend”—which we tend to think of as a negative word—like: “Don’t be so condescending!”
Shelby: Right, right.
Brian: But in reality, it’s like when that word was used in the New Testament—Jesus “condescended” from heaven—He came down. It means to go down together: con-descend; go down together. I think that’s never a comfortable feeling for most of us.
Even what you’re bringing up—I think this is applicable, whether you’re a husband or whether you’re a wife—I need to descend into their world, and that takes energy. Usually, if you’re going down—I think of a dark place—you’re going to a place you don’t feel comfortable in; but that’s exactly where we need to go, and go, “How do I listen? How do I step into their world?”
You do such a great job in your podcast, of just going, “I’m going to step into the world of those, who are dealing with issues,”—that maybe, the older generations are not. [You] help us get there; I think it’s really helpful.
Ann: I love that you’re hitting these relevant topics.
Ann: Your audience is 18-28; you’re gearing it toward that age group. But I am listening, thinking: “These are topics our kids want to talk about,” and “We, as parents, should have the courage to walk into those conversations.”
Shelby: Yes; when you think about the end of Luke, Chapter 14, Jesus is basically calling us to die: to come, take up our cross, and follow Him. In dying, others are brought to life; that’s the gospel. Jesus died so that we might have life, and we can do that with our friends. We can die to ourselves—make ourselves uncomfortable—in order that others might live; that life might be breathed into them.
It’s not just for this subject, of course. It can be anything that someone’s wrestling with. If we are willing to be humble and die to ourselves, it brings life to other people.
Dave: Alright! We’re going to Ron Deal, FamilyLife Blended. What do you have for us today, Ron?
Ron: We’ve had 100 episodes of FamilyLife Blended.
Ron: Can you believe that?
Ann: That’s exciting.
Ron: One hundred; and going way back, this next clip comes from Episode Number 11 with Michele Cushatt. Michele’s one of my favorite speakers. She has spoken for us at Blended & Blessed® and our Summit on Stepfamily Ministry®. Michele also—this is part of the conversation we had; you’re not going to hear her talk about this—she had cancer of the tongue three different times. She has been through some really, really hard things in life—in her family, and divorce, and blended family experience—so that’s a little bit of the context of this conversation.
She wrote a book called Undone,making peace with the life you have—not, necessarily, the life you want/not the life you dreamed—
Ann: It’s a good title.
Ron: —but the life you have. Let’s listen.
[Previous FamilyLife Blended Podcast]
Ron: I know many of our listeners—not everybody listening has been through a divorce—they’ve been through some sort of loss.
Ron: Somebody has. But maybe, even if they haven’t been divorced, they can relate to the single-parent years that you experienced.
Michele: Yes. [Laughter]
Ron: What were those like for you?
Michele: Exhausting. [Laughter]
Ron: It’s all on you, right?
Michele: It’s all on me. I was a young twenty-something woman. I lived a thousand miles away from my family, so I had no family backup. I had a bachelor’s degree in nursing; but being a single mom of a 22-month-old, I couldn’t work 12-hour night shifts at the hospital with a baby. I had to reinvent myself and come up with a new career. I went into computer networking sales, if you can believe that.
Those years were very hard. I was very broke! [Laughter] I remember my son and I—you know, he was a toddler—and I was getting him ready for daycare, dropping him off, going to work, coming home, picking him up, running to the grocery store, hurrying and making dinner; you know the drill. And we had very little extra; we ate lots of pasta and tuna. But if you would ask my son today, who’s now 22, those were some of the sweetest years too.
Ron: Then you meet this guy named Troy.
Ron: He’s got a couple of kids himself.
Michele: Yes; this guy named Troy, cutie-patootie, was at church. I just thought he was the sweetest thing ever. He had two boys, single dad. We believed it played out just like on TV, so we thought it would be pretty fun to just bring our families together and have a nice happy ending. [Laughter]
Ron: And was it so—I mean, the dating?—take us through that dating period and some of those decisions about getting married. What do you remember or recall, looking back?
Michele: Well, dating was—you know, both of us working full time, trying to pay our bills, and take care of our children—we were very careful about how much we spent time together, bringing the boys together. We didn’t want them to have more loss, right?—so trying to navigate: “How do we spend time together without rushing too quickly?”—and all of that.
You know, when you’re 20—and you’re so hungry for connection and relationship—and you are broken, you do all kinds of things from emotion that isn’t always intellectually wise. [Laughter]
Ron: Right, right. Let’s just jump off there for a minute.
Ron: Because I know we all have regrets. My story is I got married when I was 19. Looking back, I think, “What was I thinking?”
Michele: What were you thinking?
Ron: Clearly, I wasn’t thinking: I got married at 19; Nan was 20 years of age. Then we go and do mission work for three months in Kenya with my parents, like that’s another—
Michele: —which is so good! I was going to say that's so helpful for a new marriage, isn’t it?
Ron: Exactly; right? We’re establishing our own household and our own boundaries—no! We’re living out of their pocket—you know, so many things. All of us have things we look back at, and we have regret over, like, “What was I thinking?”
Yet, here’s the thing that I can’t help but notice: “Somehow, there’s enough grace for the day. Even when it doesn’t turn out well, somehow, we look back, and God was there, and He was teaching.”
Ron: We’ve learned more—if it wasn’t for those things—we wouldn’t be where we are today; we’ve made decisions because of that.
I mean, do you feel that same sort of thing?
Michele: Absolutely, absolutely. You know, Troy and I started dating way too soon after my husband left and his wife left. We had not—you know—we were twenty, right?
Ron: You didn’t know what you didn’t know.
Michele: We didn’t know; and we did what [was] textbook not to do, right? We took all of our emotional pain and tried to find its healing in another person, right?
Ron: Yes, not a good idea.
Michele: It doesn't work; it just leads to more pain and disappointment, and more healing required.
However, here I am—my husband and I/we’ve been married for 18 years now—we’re defying the odds, and we love each other. All I see is God’s grace/—
Ron: That’s great.
Michele: —God’s grace.
Ron: Yes! I tell people all the time, “Don’t do that; that’s not a wise thing to do. Grow up a little bit.”
Ann: But look at you.
Brian: Yes, look what’s happened.
Ron: I mean, that’s the point! You know, God’s grace is so much bigger than our failures, and our mistakes, and our shortcomings, and immaturity. We all live with regret—I don’t care what kind of life or family you have—we all live with regret of some sort or another. Thanks goodness, we don’t have to rely on ourselves.
Brian: What have you discovered to being one of the keys to not living with regret? Are there one or two that you go, “Here’s consistency…”?
Ron: Here it is: losing my story into God’s story. It’s the woman at the well, who starts her day, a social outcast—pushed away, embarrassed about life and circumstances—we’ve talked, at other times on this podcast, whether it was her fault that she’d been through five marriages or somebody else’s. We don’t know; but she carried shame around it, one way or another, and she was pushed out by the community. She meets Jesus and recognizes that there’s something bigger going on: “My story is not the end of this thing. Now, I get to tell my story in light of what God is doing in my story.”
As we like to say at FamilyLife Blended: “You can’t change your story, but you can change the story you tell about your story.” When you finally get it—that: “God’s working in me, in spite of me, for His purposes, and I have hope for the future because of that,”—that way, I can leave behind regret. I don’t have to live in light of me;I get to live in light of the cross.”
Shelby: Yes, I think that, a lot of times, especially in our Western culture, we think about: “How do God, and Jesus, and the gospel fit into my story when I tell my story?” Then there’s this little moment, where Jesus is involved, and things change.
One of the things I try to tell students, and train them, is to help them to see it’s not about that per se; it’s about how our story fits into the greater story of the gospel.
Ron: That’s it.
Shelby: And that perspective shift really changes everything!
Shelby: Of course, we’re going to live with regret; of course, we’re going to make mistakes—but the gospel covers that/always covers it—there’s always grace for the mistakes that we make. That doesn’t mean we want to lean into mistakes on purpose. We want to make wise decisions: we want to listen to people, who have gone before us, and make sure that we’re understanding and learning from their wisdom, and not repeating mistakes of the past; but know that—when I fall and when I stumble—not if, but when, there is grace that covers that.
Again, God can utilize the mistakes that we make to make our story a better one for someone else in the future. That’s just what He’s in the business of doing on a consistent basis.
Dave: And a good reminder, honestly, in that last clip—which, I know every day is a different show, a different family, a different story—the thing I heard, which was interesting, was—I think we all do this—when life gets hard, or when marriage gets hard, it’s very easy to go back and say, “Well, I was an idiot. [Laughter] I got married at 19. This isn’t going to work. We should have known better”; and you bail!
Dave: And I can tell you: we all know hundreds of couples [for whom] that has been their excuse—whether it’s: “…married too young,” or “We didn’t really understand what we were getting into,”—she just reminded us, and you reminded us—and we did it, too, got married too young. If you would have looked at us, on paper, you would have said: “Not going to make it.”
Ron: Yes; right.
Dave: We stayed; she stayed—she’s 18 years in—you’re how many?
Dave: —36 years in; we’re 42 years in: “Stay!”
Talk about Married with Benefits!
Brian: Yes, that’s what I’m talking about.
Dave: Brian, where are we going?
Shelby: Talk about a segue.
Brian: That’s a great segue! [Laughter] Because that really is: “Rediscovering the benefits of saying, ‘I do.’”
Brian: There was a reason why you said, “I do.”
Brian: We forget it; we lose it—we have regret; we have pain—but yet, God wants us to experience the oneness that really is exemplified by the gospel. The gospel is about fresh starts and new beginnings, so that really is what this podcast is all about.
Dave: Well, let’s hear a clip!
[Previous Married with Benefits Podcast]
Brian: Welcome to the FamilyLife Podcast Network! This is Brian Goins. I’m your host of Married with Benefits, the podcast that is devoted to tackling some of the toughest issues in marriage, so that we can help you better love the one you’re with and experience the real benefits of saying, “I do.”
This season, we have been with Harvard-trained researcher, Shaunti Feldhahn. We have been asking questions that we know every wife is thinking, but just aren’t sure who to ask. In fact, this question comes in from a listener, who asked, “Why doesn’t my husband notice the things that need to be done around the house without me nagging him?” That listener happens to be my wife.
Shaunti: Honestly, this is a pretty common question. It’s not just about: “Why doesn’t he notice what needs to be done around the house?” It’s this bigger thing of: “How can I get my husband to do something without nagging him?”
Brian: Yes; what is it about nagging that really irritates men?
Shaunti: As I’ve been doing this research with the guys, nagging is essentially one of the most explicit signals of: “I don’t trust you. I’ve asked you to do something; and oh, by the way, I’ve asked you to do something again and again.”
Shaunti: And it’s essentially this, “I’m not trusting you to do it or to care about it enough that you will get to it when you can.”
Shaunti: One of the things—when I was asking men: “When your wife does have something that she’s asked you to do multiple times, can I ask why you don’t do it? What is behind that?”—a lot of men said:
- “Look, I have signaled something by the delay. Maybe, I’m working 60, 70, 80 hours a week; and I’m exhausted,”
- “Or you know, maybe, I’m incredibly stressed because of something going on with the family, or the kids, or my boss; and I feel like having one more project put on my shoulders, I’m going to crack. I just know that, if I try to take on one more thing, I’m going to crack. I need to be able to come home from work and sit in front of the football game and not think for a while instead of tackling a big household project.”
The way—when I was asking the guys: “What would you recommend? You know, if this matters to your wife, it matters,”—guys said, “Yes, I know that it matters! And I don’t want her to be unhappy. It makes a huge difference if she’ll, instead, approach it like: ‘So when might you want to tackle this? I really appreciate everything you’re doing at work—and I know you’ve got so much on your plate—but this is important. When might you tackle this?’” That is received, apparently, very differently.
Shelby: Bro, this is good! This is not just good for married couples; this is good for all people, because it helps you to be a better human being—as opposed to just taking, taking, taking—and learning how to give, and care, and pour into other people, and listen well, and respond to other people’s needs—that is Christ-likeness. Every Christian needs to learn that kind of stuff, not just husbands and wives.
Dave: Well, Ann, you’re the only wife sitting at this table. [Laughter]
Brian: You laughed when you first heard those statements come out!
Ann: Yes, I did; this is an ongoing conversation with wives.
Dave: Not in our home, of course! [Laughter] Somewhere else!
Ann: I just talked to a mom, with three young kids; and they were getting ready for vacation. The mom has all the kids packed; she has she and her husband packed; she has the whole house ready to go.
Ron: And all he has to do is take care of himself. [Laughter]
Ann: All he needs to do is, now, come into the car. It’s hot! The kids are in the car.
Ann: The car is packed.
Brian: Put on some pants, maybe. [Laughter]
Ann: She walks into the house, and she says her husband is playing the piano. “What are you doing?! We’re going on vacation! The kids are in the car!”
He goes, “This tune just came”—he’s a worship leader—“This tune just came to my mind.” And she goes, “I’ve been telling you for three days: ‘We need to get ready,’ and you have done nothing! I have done everything!” And she just stomps out to the car.
This is an ongoing story, so you guys!!
Ann: So what she should say: “Oh, hon,—
Ann: Okay, tell me, Ron!
Ron: No; because, in that moment, that’s just raw selfishness. I mean, it is! It’s just his tuning into himself.
Brian: But I am laughing at him—knowing that I do the same thing—but I really like pointing out how he’s wrong. [Laughter]
Shelby: Even with young people, I like to put it: “1 Corinthians 13:11 says, ‘When I was a child, I spoke like a child;—
Shelby: —“’I thought like a child; I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.’”
Ron: “I gave up video games.” [Laughter]
Shelby: People need to be called to the carpet—they just need to be called—and that’s probably an example of that.
Ann: But I’m also thinking of the young mom, who’s been taking care of the kids all day, but she’s working. Her husband comes home; she’s just put the kids down to bed. He’s watching TV, and there’s a mess. She’s asked him a million times: “Can you clean up?” And he doesn’t. So Ron, you’re saying—
Dave: And you don’t want to be his mom.
Ann: I don’t want to be a nag! And I’ve already asked him, “Hey, when the kids are going down, and I’m putting them down, can you clean up?” And he doesn’t.
It’s hard not to be a nag, you guys!
Ron: It is! Sure! And in those moments—I mean, there are moments of desperation, when you’re calling for help—that might need a little more energy in order to get his attention.
It’s hard to know what to do to break through selfishness. I mean, part of the problem in this conversation is: we’re trying to figure out what she can do to help him with his selfishness. That’s a recipe for disaster!
Ann: —and for her not to be controlling the situation.
Ron: Exactly! She can speak; she can talk; she can pursue; but at the end of the day, he’s got to look in the mirror, and go, “You know what? I need to jump in here! I need to be part of the team.”
Ann: And we can all say: “Pray.” I really do think I have to take it to Jesus and vent to Him first!
Dave: And Ann has told me, and it’s helpful—you tell me if I’m wrong—to tell her if I’m not going to do it right now—what she’s asking me to do—tell her when I’m going to do it.
Ann: —just as Shaunti said.
Dave: Because there are times/I’m like, “Seriously? It’s the third quarter. But I will do it by five o’clock.”
Dave: She’ll walk out and be okay. But then, you’d better do it by five o’clock. Don’t say it and then not come through.
Dave: I tell you what: it’s been a great three days—
Ann: It has!
Dave: —learning about your podcasts—I hope our listeners will listen and share with others.
You know, we started today talking about The Avengers. Bruce Goff, our Audio Engineer, said he thinks this might be me.
Ron: Oh, yes!
Ann: Who is that, you guys? Who is that?
Dave: I’m Yandu!
Brian: Yandu, from Guardians.
Ann: Yandu, with the blue head.
Brian: Yes; you need to get the mohawk!
Dave: I found out who I am.
Ron: Do you know how to whistle? [Whistle attempts]
Shelby: Are you willing to suction cup a mohawk on top of your head? [Laughter]
Dave: That would be pretty cool.
Shelby: We’ll talk about that later.
Dave: Shelby, land it! [Laughter]
Shelby: Coming up tomorrow: it will be amazing; I promise.
On behalf of Dave and Ann Wilson, I’m Shelby Abbott. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife®, a Cru® Ministry.
Helping you pursue the relationships—
All in unison: —that matter most.
We are so happy to provide these transcripts to you. However, there is a cost to produce them for our website. If you’ve benefited from the broadcast transcripts, would you consider donating today to help defray the costs?
Copyright © 2023 FamilyLife. All rights reserved.